Thierry Henry impressed with Liverpool star Sterling, but cites area where he struggles

Raheem Sterling

Thierry Henry believes Raheem Sterling has potential to play up front for Liverpool successfully, but says he is far from the finished article.

Thierry Henry has praised Raheem Sterling, telling SkySports the Liverpool star has what it takes to become a successful striker.

The Arsenal great says he sees real potential in the England international, who has been deployed up front in recent months in games with Daniel Sturridge injured and alternative strikers failing to convince.

Henry believes however, in comments reported by Goal, that Sterling's finishing needs to improve.

He said: "One vs one it's very difficult to defend against him. The only thing I can say that he doesn't have yet is finishing.

"He struggles with it sometimes but that will come with time. He has everything you need. He's good one vs one and he has pace. His movements are sharp."

In comparison to teammates Rickie Lambert, Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini, Sterling actually manages to get a higher percentage of his shots on target than the trio.

  PositionTeamOn Target Shooting AccuracyScoring V Shooting AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Raheem Sterling MF Liverpool 40% 8% 21 1,800
Rickie Lambert FW Liverpool 38% 15% 17 585
Mario Balotelli FW Liverpool 38% 0% 12 760
Fabio Borini FW Liverpool 36% 7% 10 345

Sterling has scored with eight per cent of his total attempts, which while not as high as the experienced Rickie Lambert's shooting, is a figure established from  more than three times the total minutes played by the former Southampton forward.

Mario Balotelli's scoring rate in the Premier League is laughable so far, with no goals, and it's easy to see why Brendan Rodgers prefers to take a chance on Sterling, whose all round game offers so much more than the Italian.

Henry's comments are encouraging for the youngster, as the Arsenal legend converted from a wide player into a forward early in his career, and the fact he sees potential for Sterling to transition is positive, if he can improve his shooting from a level which is at present, not too bad already.

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